For a long, long time I was the cyclist who would trade free babysitting for someone to clean my bike. Seriously. One time my coach said "Chloe, that is the dirtiest bike I've ever seen" or my bike mechanic stated (more then once) "My, the princess has been rode hard and put up wet". Yes. I do love my bike - but I did not know how to keep her clean. Or, just didn't want to spend the time. Until I realized how SIMPLE and QUICK it is to do yourself. All you need is the proper tools.
*remember, I am NOT a bike mechanic. If you have any suggestions, please leave a comment*
These are my tools.
And this is my cleaning bucket. It's simple for me to keep everything together - I mean, where else am I going to use epic ride or grease lightening?
First thing I do is hose down my bike.
Then I spray some grease lightening onto my cassette and crank set. Then I use a brush purchased from my local bike store to clean all of the hard to reach dirty parts:
Once I feel most of the sand and muck have been cleaned out - I hose her down again.
Next I grab the best bike chain cleaning tool ever and my CB-2 Citrus Chain Brite:
You don't realize how dirty your chain is until you use this bad boy. All you do is fill up the chain cleaning machine (well, that is what I call it) to the fill line and attached to the bottom part of your chain. This contraption is full of brushes that spin and clean out all of the crap caught in your chain:
I know, not the best photo. But you get the drift. But I back peddle my bike until I feel the chain is clean. Usually about 2-3 minutes (I'm just a bit OCD). Depending on how full of grime my chain is, I might dump out the liquid and re-fill. Because it can get pretty gross:
Sick. Now you see how important this tool is.
You can purchase this entire contraption here - or you can also purchase this at your local bike store.
Just to let you know - my bike chain is gold. I totally forget this until after I clean it. Then I remember the princess has some pretty awesome bling.
I hose the bike down again and fill up a small bucket with car wash solution and water. Grab some type of soft cloth and throughly wipe down the frame and wheels. I typically do this a few times since I seem to miss places.
Finally I end the bike spa with this:
to lube up my chain.
I look for the quick release on my chain - and just drip a small amount of Epic Ride on each link. Once I see the quick release again, I know I've done one round (sometimes I do this twice...damn OCD)
And there you go! Quick and simple. This usually takes me about 10 minutes or so. I don't have fancy bike holder - but the boat trailer works just fine to hold her up.
Now - how pretty does the princess look?
If I can do it - you can totally do it. A clean bike is a happy bike....and a fast bike! I try to do this at least once every two weeks. We have a TON of sand and crap on our roads - so the gunk can really build up.
In other news - here is an awesome photos of Stella. The wonder dog:
Guarding her ball.